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Screenshot via Apple.com

Apple announced a new program Wednesday under which it will take a smaller 15% cut from App Store sales for businesses earning less than $1 million selling their apps, rather than the standard 30% cut.

Why it matters: Apple is under fire from some critics over its rigid App Store policies that require developers to use Apple payment systems for both app sales and in-app payments in exchange for a cut of sales.

How it works:

  • Under the new App Store Small Business Program, launching Jan. 1, developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, qualify for the reduced rate.
  • Once a participating developer surpasses the $1 million in App Store revenue, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year. 
  • If a developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can requalify for the 15% commission for the following year.

Between the lines: The move comes amid growing criticism from some developer corners as well as heightened interest from antitrust regulators.

  • Fortnite creator Epic is suing Apple (and Google) over their store policies, which have also been criticized by Spotify, Match Group and others.

Our thought bubble: The move should help generate some positive press for Apple and please smaller app makers. But it doesn't really address the concern of developers, such as Epic Games, who want a way to reach iPhone owners without taking part in Apple's payment system.

Go deeper

Dec 1, 2020 - Technology

Facebook, Google push deals despite antitrust scrutiny

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook announced Monday that it has purchased a customer service chatbot startup called Kustomer. The app reportedly cost Facebook $1 billion, the same amount it paid for Instagram in 2012.

Why it matters: The deal is the latest sign that the world's biggest tech companies, despite facing enormous antitrust scrutiny globally, will not stop buying up other companies.
.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.